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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Royal Bath and West Show with Barber's 1833

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A few weeks ago, I found myself in rural Somerset at the Royal Bath and West Show. I had been invited by the lovely Barber family to spend the day enjoying the livestock, food, drink and, of course, the cheese of this beautiful area! I certainly wasn't going to miss anything involving cheese, especially when there was talk of a cheese toastie competition using Barber's 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar to make the toasties.

Cheese, onion, mushroom toastie
My finished toastie

After spending the morning pottering around the various exhibits and the British Food Hall in particular, I made my way over to the 'British Farming for the Family' tent to meet the other bloggers who would be making their own versions of the humble cheese toastie. I hadn't realised that I would have to go up on a little stage and cook the sandwich in front of an audience, who would then be judging them! But we all had a bit of a laugh because the prep kitchen was extremely tiny, with just a couple of tables laden with the ingredients to make the toasties. I was second up with my creation, which was a caramelised onion, fried button mushroom, 1833 Cheddar & chilli jam toastie. Some of the other toasties included apple & bacon, smoked mackerel & coriander, and Nicky Barber's own creation, which was a good old fashioned cheese and Worcester sauce toastie.

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Making a winning toastie
There could only be one toastie winner though, and that honour went to Jane who blogs at Fromage Homage, with her excellent Cheddar, caramelised red onion chutney, smoked bacon lardons and watercress toastie. My toastie didn't do as well as I had hoped for (it came last.... shhh) - I guess my chilli jam is an acquired taste, haha!

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A right British cheese tasting

Afterwards, we popped over to the hall where they were holding the British Cheese Awards, and had a very informative talk from one of the top cheese experts, along with a special cheese tasting. Some of my favourites were the Green Thunder, a hard cheese with garlic and herbs, and the Cornish Yarg, a cheese wrapped in nettles. Apparently 'Yarg' is 'Gray' spelt backwards, the family name of the original producer of the cheese.

Here are my photos from the day, click for larger images.

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Results being announced

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A packed shopping area

Barbers Cheddar at Bath and West Show  iPhone
Barber's 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

British food hall

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Mature cheddar & Cornish Yarg

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Cheese for inspection

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I spotted this chipotle chilli salt & some fresh bread

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Other items on sale - the tractor on the left was a little out of my price range!

Cheese toastie making 1 iPhone cheese toastie making 2 iPhone
Making toasties

Bath and West Show 1 iPhone  British cheese awards
Cheese for sale & for tasting

charcoal cheese Bath and West Show 4 iPhone
Cheese made with charcoal & a supreme champion of cheese - Rosary, garlic & herb goats cheese

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Morris dancing

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Disclosure: I attended the Royal Bath and West Show as a guest of Barber's.

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This content belongs to Nic at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2014 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.


A Little Lusciousness said...

that's right next to where I grew up - I used to love going to the show and seeing all the local produce on display, that's what the West Country's all about :)


Jane said...

Beautiful photos - they really sum up the day. It was good fun, wasn't it?